December 14, 2015 3:44 PM EST

North Korea’s recent claim it had succeeded in making a hydrogen bomb was met with a mixture of alarm and skepticism from the international community.

The hermit kingdom has been working on developing its nuclear weapons program since the 1980s, and, at this point, experts say there’s no question the country has the weapons. But a hydrogen bomb would be a huge step forward.

The U.S. and North Korea has had a tumultuous history centering around the North’s weapons program. The first major breakthrough came in 1994 when under the Clinton administration, North Korea agreed to halt its nuclear power plants in exchange for energy resources from the U.S. But the agreement has since collapsed and the North’s program resumed.

So why is North Korea so bent on pursuing nuclear weapons, and is there bite to its bark?

Watch the video above to find out.

More Must-Read Stories From TIME

Contact us at

Read More From TIME
You May Also Like